“Yahweh, remember what has happened to us.
Look, and see our disgrace!
Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers,
our houses to foreigners.
We have become orphans, fatherless;
our mothers are widows.
We must pay for the water we drink;
our wood comes at a price.
We are closely pursued;
we are tired, and no one offers us rest.” (Lamentations 5:1-5)
Lamenting is a part of life. We all have times in our lives when we weep and lament. Jeremiah was one who knew all to well about lamenting. He wrote an entire book on it. His life and ministry was one of seeing suffering and hard times. Seeing God’s people suffer and lament made Jeremiah cry out to God for mercy. Jeremiah cared for the people and called out to God for mercy in such trying times.
Today we forget sometimes that it is a part of the life of God’s people to lament. As long as we are on this earth, we will deal with suffering and pain. We will be worn down and feel crushed by the weight of this world. But we have the option and the ability to cry out to God in those times.
Whether this week we are going through physical suffering, emotional suffering, spiritual suffering or a mix of them, we can cry out to God. We can tell Him our pains and hurts. We can share our sufferings with Him. If we are struggling with that this week, let us call out to Him.
“For the Lord
will not reject us forever.
Even if He causes suffering,
He will show compassion
according to His abundant, faithful love.
For He does not enjoy bringing affliction
or suffering on mankind.” (Lamentations 3:31-33)
The book of Lamentations was written by the prophet Jeremiah. If there was someone who understood lamenting, it was Jeremiah. He was a prophet who was charged with speaking God’s truth to the people. But the people would not listen. And because they would not listen and repent, judgement came and the people suffered including Jeremiah.
Even throughout the book of Lamentations where there is lamenting and grief throughout, there is also hope. These verses are a part of that hope. Jeremiah reminds the people that God does have abundant, faithful love for his people. He does want to bring His people back from suffering and pain. He “will not reject us forever”.
Sometimes when we are going through painful times and we are in that valley of suffering, we feel that it never ends. Months or even years may pass and the suffering we feel never ends. But these verses remind us that even though it seems never ending, it is not. God will bring it to end. He loves us and though we may deal with suffering, we have hope because of Jesus Christ. We are not rejected forever because we have been accepted through Christ’s work on the cross. We may still endure pain and suffering on this Earth but it will not last forever.
This week, as we may going through our own pains and sufferings, let us rest in the hope that it will not last forever. That the steadfast love of God endures and He will deliver us.
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:31-34
This passage is one of the more well known verses in the Old Testament. The prophet Jeremiah is writing looking ahead to the future and the future promise of a restored relationship with God and His people. This is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus. The writer of Hebrews will quote this passage in his letter in Hebrews 8:8-12.
Because of Jesus, we get to know God the Father personally. We get to have a relationship with Him. We are able to have our sins forgiven when we repent. That is good news worth sharing.
“Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches,but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-24
In this passage, God is speaking to the people of Judah through the prophet Jeremiah. He makes it clear that if there should be any boasting, it should be in knowing where the truth, the power and the riches truly come. They come from the Lord. What we should boast in is having a relationship with God, in knowing the one who is righteous and just.
What do we put our trust in? Or to tie to the text, what do we boast in? Do we boast in our knowledge? Do we boast in our strength? Do we boast in our wealth/possessions? Or do we boast in the Lord? It’s great to have knowledge, it’s great to be healthy and strong, it’s great to have money and possessions. But it’s not great to make that the focal point, to boast about those things.
To have a personal relationship with God, now that’s something to boast about.